The mobile payments market is white-hot right now. PayPal just announced their latest creation, a Square knockoff (at first glance), LevelUp is seeing more than $1,000,000 worth of transactions per month and Square is now measuring their transactions in billions of dollars on a yearly basis.
The chart below is an illustration of the current mobile payments landscape. The horizontal axis is the spectrum of where the product can be used in relation to proximity to the merchant. Do you have to be in the store to complete the transaction? Do you need to actually be at the register and touch or scan your mobile device to complete the transition? If you do, I would argue it is not much of a step forward in payments technology.
The vertical axis is the spectrum of user accessibility, or the ability for an average mobile user to actually use the mobile payment platform. As you can see, most mobile payment platforms are app based and focus on Apple or Android, the two main operating systems. This excludes many millions of mobile consumers. Also, the requirements for NFC enabled devices is even more far reaching and pretty much isolates payments to very few merchants and consumers.
Where’s Seconds? It’s all the way to the upper right. The most accessible to merchants/consumers and is the most dynamic in relative proximity to a merchant. Using Seconds, I can send a text and transact from anywhere in the city, state or country. Shouldn’t mobile payments actually be mobile?
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